Most professionals know they need to write blogs as part of their content marketing strategy. But how can they write blogs that actually drive business?
Write blogs: it seems to be the mantra of nearly every content marketing strategy these days. But writing blogs involves more than putting words up on your website. There’s a strategy that every business owner and marketer needs to use to maximize the blog’s effectiveness to actually drive business.
The Google Algorithm
It should come as no surprise that Google is the world’s most popular website. So powerful is Google’s influence in providing information that “google it” has become a common phrase in the English language. Let’s face it – when was the last (or even first) time you ever heard anyone say “bing it”?
However, writing to meet Google’s search criteria can be tricky, especially since their algorithm is not only complicated, but also a closely-guarded secret.
“It’s been speculated that the number of criteria Google uses to rank websites and blogs is over 200,” says Andy Bush, Owner and Internet Marketing Consultant at Bush Marketing, a Toronto web design and internet marketing agency,. “Even if we knew what they were, and how they ranked in importance, it would be difficult to satisfy each factor in their search algorithm.”
Fortunately, intrepid bloggers don’t have to be daunted by complexities of Google’s search criteria. They can still write blogs that will satisfy Google by following a simple blogging and content marketing strategy.
Write Blogs that Google Loves
Many SEO experts follow a certain set of recommended guidelines when optimizing websites for Google, although no one can ever truly guarantee success.
“There are several things one can do to make their blog as search-friendly as possible,” Andy says. “The most important are incorporating the primary search keywords into the post title, description and URL, as well as within the body copy without compromising the language.
“Also, blog posts should be a minimum of 750 words and ideally be structured for readers to ‘scan’ the page for information without making them hunt for it. This strategy includes adding headings, subheadings, and bullet point lists. Google rewards content that benefits the reader, so it’s important to make sure that the layout is reader friendly.”
Andy also notes that there are technical elements to consider, such as site speed, xml sitemap, and inbound linking that play a role in a blog’s search rankings.
“It’s also beneficial to include images with keywords in the alt tags,” Andy says. “Use your post as an opportunity to show off graphs and images that will support the content.
“Lastly, include links to other pages on your blog/website that support the content of your blog post. If you have another post that supports a position on the one you’re writing, link to it.”
Interestingly, YouTube is the world’s second most popular search engine, demonstrating the power that video has to get your message across to millions of subscribers. If you can include video in your blog and integrate it into your content marketing strategy, your search rankings should vastly improve as a result.
How Often Should You Write Blogs?
A big question for many business owners is how often should they write blogs. Some large companies or media agencies have a lot to write about, and could potentially blog daily. Smaller niche companies might struggle to blog even monthly. So how much is right for your business?
“The minimum that you should post for your business blog is once per month,” Andy says. “Ideally, one should post every two weeks or even once a week if possible. This increases the opportunity for repeat readership and puts more content on the search engines for people to find.”
Consistency is also key to blogging success. There’s no sense in not blogging for half of the year, and then publishing six blogs in one week. You won’t build engagement and excitement among your readers unless you blog faithfully, and on schedule.
If you can’t find the time to blog, or don’t have an interest in doing it yourself, consider hiring a professional SEO copywriter to do it for you. It’s a worthy investment that will pay off in the long run in terms of customer engagement, website traffic, and additional revenue.
Publish and Publicize Your Blog
Now that you’ve written a blog, it’s time to get it out there! Don’t wait for people to visit your website – get your content noticed by integrating it into your digital and content marketing plan, which includes:
- Posting it on your social media channels, including LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook
- Linking to it on your email newsletter
- Converting it into a gated, lead-capturing white paper
- Offering it as a guest post to relevant media websites
“A well written piece of content can be utilized in many different ways,” Andy says. “At the very least, if you’re not using social media to advance your blog readership, then that’s definitely where you should start.”
How Do Blogs Make You Money?
Blogs drive business by demonstrating your authority in your field. By proving yourself an expert with engaging, well-written blogs, you’ll attract a loyal audience of followers who will engage with you and click through to other pages on your website. If you have a strong following, your online reputation and subscriber base will grow. Before you know it, you’ll have a long list of loyal brand ambassadors your marketing team can follow up with.
Remember – your audience is full of interested readers who will either buy from you directly or refer customers to you. But it all starts with discipline and commitment to your blogging and overall content marketing strategy, which will result in new business, customer retention, and a loyal customer list.